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France maps Covid-19 impact to aid in easing lockdown

French health authorities on Thursday provided a map illustrating zones where the coronavirus is actively circulating and imposing a heavy burden on healthcare services.
French health authorities on Thursday provided a map illustrating zones where the coronavirus is actively circulating and imposing a heavy burden on healthcare services. © French Health Ministry

French health authorities on Thursday released a map showing the areas of the country that are the most affected by the virus. The map is set to serve as a reference when the country eases lockdown measures after May 11.

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The hard-hit northeastern part of France, including the entire greater Paris area, has been placed in a “red zone” as the map is based on an estimate of the circulation of the coronavirus and the breadth of the burden being sustained by intensive care units at local hospitals.

The government said “green zones” will be able to lift some restrictions more rapidly.

Health minister Olivier Véran said final decisions will be made next week based on how the map evolves.

National health agency director Jérôme Salomon said the virus's spread continues to slow down in the country with the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care decreasing for the third straight week.

France, one of the world’s hardest-hit countries, has reported more than 24,000 deaths from the disease at hospital and in nursing homes.

In the Île-de-France region, which encompasses the greater Paris area and where more than 6,000 people have died in hospital due to Covid-19, another 10,900 infected patients remain hospitalised including at least 1,600 in intensive care.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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